Since Summer 2010, new owner Michael Coppola and his trusty side-kick Jason, say they have been bringing a new tasty new twist on ice cream to Newtown.
Coppola also owns in Danbury, which is hardly the expected jumping off point for gourmet ice cream. But then, as an expert on pizza, Coppola wasn’t really looking to get into the ice cream business.
The pizza to ice cream move was partially based on his constant running into Jason Rabatin, who seemed to be serving Starbucks coffee where ever Coppola happened to be buying it.
“We knew each other ten years ago, when I was serving coffee in Starbucks. We kept bumping into each other all over the state, and then I bumped into him in Newtown,” Rabatin said.
“I was looking to do something different,” Coppola said. “Father Bob from St. Rose’s Church suggested I buy this place, but I thought, ice cream? No. And I asked him, 'Anyway, who would run it?”
Coppola said, “Father Bob asked, ‘What about Jason, who you keep running into?’”
“I thought...maybe,” Coppola said, with wry smile. “So I came and talked to Lenny, the previous owner, and he was getting ready to put the shop back on the market. I went back and talked to Jason, and in the end, it was meant to be.”
Rabatin agreed. With a youthful, just-out-of-school quality (even though he has been out of school for years) he asked, “Who wouldn’t want to sell ice cream?”
Coppola decided to take some classes at an ice cream school in the mid-west. There he learned his craft and found that making delicious ice cream had everything to do with what was put into it.
“It’s about the ingredients and additives; the better quality ingredients, the better the ice cream,” Copploa said. “We use big pieces of dark chocolate in our chocolate chip. Other places use smaller chips because they are cheaper. It costs more to use our chocolate, but it is so much better.”
Jason's academic background was in art, and Coppola said he is very creative with mixing flavors. One of their newest big sellers is Pancakes with Bacon.
Coppola, who as a much younger man used to sell ice cream from a Mister Softee truck, said, “It’s almost like being a chemist. And now we are doing really cool cakes. Our customers, some come here five days a week. Our ice cream is rich and satisfying, but it has a cleaner finish than some of the other ice creams. It’s not so heavy. The original owner, Charlie, has been here a few times. He is pretty happy with what we are doing now.”
The shop at 51 Church Hill Road is open from March to October and may be open longer depending on the weather.
On Friday, Patch will be holding Office Hours at Holy Cow. Come meet Christine Rose, editor, Blog Scout Leslie Yager, and other Patchers from around Fairfield County.
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